BUSINESS confidence has hit a 15-year low, according to the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci) business confidence index for July. The index declined from 89.7 in June to 87.9 last month. This is the lowest level since the index stood at 86.9 in September 1999. Sacci stated that persistent labour unrest last month remained a challenge for businesses and that the index drop was disappointing. “Inflationary pressures and the increase in the repo rate in July contributed to an already repressed business mood.” Five of the 13 sub-indices were negative last month, compared with eight negative sub-indices in June. – Sapa